ID theft victim lands in jail, now she's warning others about the dangers

FL ranked #1 in nation for fraud complaints

TAMPA, Fla. - Sixteen years later Renea Motley recalls that night like it was last night. A traffic stop over her son's expired license plate ended in a trip to jail. She calls it the most horrifying experience of her life.

Deputies charged Motley with writing bad checks in 3 different counties. This single Mom spent 43 days behind bars. That’s how long it took to clear her name.

Motley says at the time she had no idea identity theft could wreck both her life and her credit.

According to the Federal Trade Commission, victims spend an average of 600 hours getting their life back to normal after an ID thief strikes.

The bad guys get their hands on our personal information via data breaches, credit card skimmers and by getting their hands on documents that contain our digits.

Motley learned the hard way protecting your identity is much easier than getting it back.

ABC Action News is taking action to protect you from identity theft with our 8th annual Operation Shredding this coming Saturday.

You can bring up to 5 boxes of personal papers and we will shred them for you on site for free. This year we are also taking hard drives, tablets and cell phones to be destroyed. 

The event takes place from 7 a.m. to 1 p.m. at Citrus Park Town Center. Just look for the Pro Shred trucks.

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